AMBASSADOR'S BLOG - ST ANDREW'S NIGHT IN KYIV: A UKRAINIAN-SCOTTISH CEILIDH

29.11.10




It's 9.30 p.m. and the Sancho Panza Restaurant is packed with Scots and Ukrainians in kilts and traditional embroidered linen shirts (actually most of the men in kilts are wearing Ukrainian shirts).  A Scottish/Ukrainian band equipped with bagpipes, a harmonica, fiddles and a tsymbaly play Ukrainian and Scottish dance tunes accompanied by roars of enthusiasm from the dancers.

Welcome to St Andrew's Night in Kyiv.  St Andrew is the patron saint of both Scotland and Ukraine, which seems an excellent reason to organise a terrific multicultural knees-up accompanied by a selection of zakuski (traditional Ukrainian/Russian starters) followed by haggis with tatties and neeps.  Cross-cultural fertilisation doesn't get any better than this, even if we do meet a couple of days early to catch the weekend.  The organisers not only lay on a fine selection of music and dance, but there's also singing of traditional Scottish and Ukrainian songs.  To help with the latter there's a neat booklet setting out not only the words to key songs including The Lum Hat Wantin' the Croon, Donald Where's Your Trousers and Чом ти не прийшов, but also comparing Scottish Tartans such as Isle of Skye and Gordon with Ukrainian Plakhta patterns from different regions of the country. 

All in all it's a great evening and a privilege to be invited.  I'm looking forward to next year already.   

 


Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting: http://blogs.fco.gov/roller/turner 


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